Over time, I grew, so did my passion for devouring different things with this enticing brown beverage. Diwali used to be fun. Mom used to make a big-daba full of the spicy crispy shevai just for me, and I used to finish it, every strand of it, dipped in chai! Spicy hot things dipped in chai somehow became a feast for my taste buds, and I started trying more and more. Next was my ever favourite chakli. These days I can't appreciate "dry" chakli anymore.
People by now had realized this kid is nuts, except for my cousin, who shared my passion with equal enthusiasm and pioneering spirit. She too new this spice-chai combo was fireworks-y. In fact it was her who introduced me to this new "dish"...the world famous Chitale's bakharwadi with chai! (WARNING: Do not try this at home, you'll die of acidity stroke.)
My experiments went on, much to my surprise I found that (bit salty)chapatis and ghavane(kind of dosas made with non-fermented rice flour) and churmure went equally good with chai. Ready-mix dosa and fried idlis dipped in some sweet chai give them a unique taste, I would recommend these to people willing to experiment :)
And then I went thinking...why did I become a chai person. I thought and thought, and then came a realization. I remember as a kid, watching my Dad, eating white poha(flat rice flakes) dipped in chai, he used to like it then. So its the genes, though they seem to be mostly dormant in him. But I remember him dragging us to a Irani restaurant in Mumbai, at dawn time, after we had just arrived by train, for having a maska-burun(a hard bread, donno if thats the way it is spelt) chai. Not that I regret.
After I started work, it used to be coffee most of the time, I had forgotten dear chai, until I came to Tucson, where my roomie Akshay started making chai regularly...for early morning reasons. And then I had the pleasure of relishing the works of great chai-makers Quadir, Vad & Bhavin.
My current roomies are more of filter-coffee annas. As for me, I have been a bad chai-maker till date, and that makes me really be-chai-n!